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If you're thinking of selling your business in the near future, don't underestimate the critical role technology plays in maximizing your chances of success.

I recently listened to an enlightening podcast on preparing your systems and data for a smooth business exit. The experts revealed common mistakes that end up costing business owners big time when it comes to valuation and deal terms.

The biggest takeaway - you need to get your technology "exit ready" BEFORE putting your business on the market. Outdated infrastructure, legacy systems, inconsistent data, lack of automation, key person dependencies...these can all discourage buyers, create unexpected risks, and prompt lower offers.

Modernizing your tech stack ahead of time accomplishes several key objectives. It increases efficiency and profits, providing concrete evidence of growth potential under new ownership. Automating manual processes and consolidating data also showcase operational maturity.

Upgrading critical equipment, migrating to the cloud, and implementing new platforms demonstrates you've taken steps to future proof the business. This reduces the burden on the buyer to overhaul things post-sale.

Of course, all of this takes time. The experts emphasize starting the process early with an objective assessment of your current state. This highlights priority areas to address first, based on their impact and effort required.

An experienced advisor can identify pain points you may be too close to see. They also know the right questions to ask across your infrastructure, applications, security, data and reporting.

Armed with an action plan, you can then start methodically addressing issues over 6-12 months. While larger initiatives take longer, quick wins like moving to a cloud CRM or consolidating financial data into a single source of truth are achievable in weeks.

The payoff for your diligence comes when buyers start conducting due diligence. A modern tech stack and healthy data minimizes surprises that can threaten deals. Positioning your business as proactive and forward-thinking builds additional goodwill.

So if you're planning for an exit, take steps now to get your technology ready. The initial upfront effort reduces headaches and risks down the road. And it can be the difference between a 5X multiple and 7X multiple when it comes time to set the sale price. The podcast I listened to made clear - technology matters. Don't leave money on the table due to inaction

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